from the makers of Mouth magazine

We can't let these arguments
run around loose.

Pro-institution forces said it out loud in the Olmstead case. And you can bet your life we haven't heard the last of it. As we negotiate with states to de-segregate the current system, we will hear these arguments again. Think how you'll answer them, one by one.

From Olmstead and the State of Georgia

• The issue of deinstitutionalization, like the dog that does not bark, simply was not before Congress, was not raised by Congress, and was not debated by Congress during the adoption of the ADA.

• The 1990 passage of the ADA simply did not suddenly make a national value judgment in this area that all States are compelled to follow.

• There was no hint that the integration regulation [of the ADA] was intended to cover institutionalization or in any way affect the pace with which States provide community care.

• The state's choice of setting for an individual requiring public care depends on the individual's mental condition, on the fact and extent of his dangerousness and inability to care for himself, and on fiscal and administrative considerations.

• There must be a 'clear and manifest' showing of congressional intent to supplant traditional state police powers.

photo of Tommy Olmstead looking jovial and ... well... ignorant
Tommy Olmstead spoke for Georgia
To see where we'd place him, click on his nose.
photo of Frankie Sue DelPapa looking like a deer caught in your headlights
Frankie Sue Del Papa spoke for the National Association of State Attorneys General
photo of William Pound looking well satisfied
William Pound spoke for the National Conference of State Legislatures
photo of Polly Spare when she's feeling especially righteous
Polly Spare spoke for an organization known as Voice of the Retarded. To see how she vocalizes, click on her hair.

From the National Association of State Attorneys General:

• In addition to hospital-type institutions, states also provide 'intermediate' settings at the community level such as nursing homes.

• The states' ability to provide services to those with disabilities is undermined by constant litigation to determine every individual's proper placement.

• But none has ever understood that the ADA mandated an immediate transition (or even a transition over time) to a community setting for each and every individual for whom it was a theoretical possibility.

• These institutions are reimbursed based on daily bed rate, and to provide the best services must operate at capacity.

• Congress should not be permitted to bury invisible landmines in legislation that later explode to the devastation of a state's fisc [budget].

From the National Conference of State Legislatures on their own behalf and on behalf of the National Governors Association, the National Council of Mayors, and other powerful parties too numerous to mention

[Note: their brief made its argument on "mental illness" alone. But make no mistake. Most states apply sanctions against anyone with any disability who needs assistance in order to live in freedom.]

• Given the complexity of the [state] task of administering state mental health programs, only a clear statement by Congress of its intent to impose a community treatment mandate would suffice to support such a costly and intrustive mandate. The ADA contains no such statement.

• The provision of care for the mentally ill has long been a core function of state government.... It is also a function for which the federal government provides only a fraction of the funding.

• The plain language of the ADA's public services anti-discrimination provision does not support the imposition of this costly mandate on state mental health programs.

From Voice of the Retarded:

• The safety and constant monitoring provided by an institution presents one care option envisioned by the ADA.

• Community placement is a splendid idea &emdash; for those medically and emotionally able to enjoy it.

• The Court may safely assume that all disabled welcome the maximum liberty which their condition permits. The difference is medical: not all disabilities permit community placement.

• 'Disability' should not be a collective noun. There are degrees of disability, and differences in the appropriate treatment of disability.

Get to know what was said in favor of our freedom, so that you can speak truth to power. Click here to go there now.

Link to the Mouth issue where this article appeared -- in Mouth's Attitude Catalog store.